Speaking about the rise in prescription charges from £7.65 to £7.85 announced today by Pharmacy Minister Earl Howe, Neal Patel, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said:
“This news is deeply disappointing.
“Hitting patients in the pocket when they are already suffering from long-term health problems heaps unfairness on top of illness. We know from speaking to patients of working age who pay for their prescriptions that cost can be a major barrier to them getting the life-saving medicines they need.
“We are deeply concerned that some people have to make choices about their health based on their ability to pay. Every day pharmacists are asked which medicines they can ‘do without’ – the answer is none of them as they have been prescribed to manage their particular condition. Patients who don’t take the medicines they need often end up with an admission to hospital which is far more expensive for the NHS in the long-run.
"As a member of the Prescription Charges Coalition, a group of charities and organisations representing millions of people with long-term conditions, we'd like to see an end to the current unfair exemptions system which means that people with some long-term conditions get free prescriptions, whilst others don't."
Listen to Neal's interview on Radio 5Live today or read the BBC Online story.